Regenerative medicine is a branch of medicine concentrated on trying to stimulate a healing response by harnessing the body’s natural healing process. This includes the use of platelets (platelet rich plasma) and mesenchymal signaling cells (stem cells). Our hope is to return function and improve pain for patients suffering from osteoarthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and ligament injuries.
Most simply defined, PRP is a platelet count above normal. Platelets are your body’s natural healing particles. When you get an injury, platelets in your blood go to the area of injury. Your platelets release growth factors (programming signals) that assure you get an appropriate healing response. Once concentrated out of a larger volume of blood, PRP can be injected under ultrasound guidance into the injured area of injury. Our goal is improving treatments for conditions such as tendinitis/tendinosis, tendon tears, ligament sprains/tears, muscle tears, and joint pain.
This process involves harvesting your mesenchymal signaling cells from your bone marrow in your pelvis and concentrating them by processing the bone marrow in a specialized centrifuge. After first numbing the area so it isn’t painful, a needle is used to withdraw bone marrow from your posterior iliac crest (lower back area). This is the same procedure performed for over 50 years in hematology offices. The cells are injected then activated with injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP). The whole process is done under ultrasound guidance to assure accuracy.
Recently, percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy (UT) has evolved as a potential minimally invasive treatment for tendinopathy. This has been performed at Swedish sports medicine since 2014. It is a novel technique in which phacoemulsification (sound waves) are used to debride (clean up) and aspirate bad tendon tissue through a small incision via a small handpiece. Studies have shown it to be safe and effective at treating tendinopathies in multiple different tendons, including documentation of success in treatment of plantar fasciopathy after previous release. It is most commonly used on Achilles tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), plantar fasciitis/ plantar fascial rupture, patellar tendinitis, quadriceps tendinitis, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, gluteal tendinitis, and hamstring tendinitis.